Sandra lends support to Newlife campaign

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A Larne mum is backing an awareness and fundraising campaign to support families of disabled and terminally-ill children.

Sandra Armour’s sons Scott, aged 11, and four-year-old Joshua, both have sensory needs, with Scott diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD.

The brothers have been supported by the charity, Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, which provided play therapy pods during the school summer holidays.

Sandra said the pods – which are equipped with specialist sensory toys – are perfect for her sons.

She added: “They were a godsend during the holidays. Neither of the boys is capable of play in the regular sense of the word, but the pods we have are full of specialist toys which light up in different ways and have a calming affect on them.

“These are the second lot of pods we have had and we have found the items have been targeted at their specific needs. They really look forward to getting a play therapy pod - especially the wee one, who gets so excited. It’s like Christmas.

“The lights have a very calming affect on them when they are agitated and are very useful at bedtime because they are soothing, making it easier for Scott and Joshua to fall asleep. My oldest son in particular finds it very difficult to go to sleep.

“It’s very upsetting as a parent to see him crying because he wants so badly to go to sleep but he just can’t. Having the lights to watch soothes him and helps him fall asleep.”

Newlife needs £100,000 a year so it can continue to help families in Northern Ireland, and a fundraising campaign has been launched by Lorraine McMahon, whose grandson Lorcan died earlier this year, aged just 22 months.

Lorcan was born with hydrocephalus – a build-up of fluid on the brain – and brain cysts, which caused him to have frequent seizures. Without any appropriate equipment provision from statutory services, Lorraine and her family nursed Lorcan on the family sofa.

In desperation, she turned to Newlife, which delivered a specialist bed to the family home. This meant fewer readmissions to hospital and the family could make the most of Lorcan’s last few months.

To donate or fundraise, go to or call Newlife on 0800 988 4640.